Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Running marathons with AS

"The doctors say I shouldn't be able to run but I do, so that's why I keep going. What pushes me through hard runs, marathons or whatever, is that I know what it's like to be crippled." The Edmonton Sun profiles Gary Poignant, journalist, marathon runner, and ankylosing spondylitis sufferer.

Comments on this post

  • I suffer from AS and am training to run my first ever marathon in NY this year in November... so far so good! I would love to read the article about Gary Poignant but don't want to have to 'subscribe and pay' to do so.

    However, if there is anyone here who has experineces with running with AS I would love to exchange them... I am 40 and have been suffering since my early 20ies, could not run let alone walk properly for quite a few years in the onset stages of the disease but am now fit and healthy, mainly thanks to yoga, diet and a generally active lifestyle.

    Love to hear from others...

    Posted by Blogger Hanneke (5/18/2005 2:29 PM)  

  • im 26 and have it bad. i feel ok when i jog and run, followed by very thorough stretching. its not until i leave the gym that it starts up again, and fiercely. i feel il never recover. is there anything i can do. i just started enbrel injections and hear the results are phenomenal, but nothing at all yet.

    Posted by Blogger damen (1/09/2007 8:58 PM)  

  • I've had AS since about 18, it wasn't until about 2 years ago (at 22) that it was diagnosed.

    At times I've had it so bad I could barely walk. Right now I'm on Methotrexate & Arthrotec, which helps.

    Right now I'm hoping to run in a 10K at the end of April, then try an Olympic or half-ironman triathlon after that.

    Hanneke, what has worked for diet? Are you able to sleep through the night?

    Anyone have any tips on shoes for training;I'm about 6'3'' - 200 lbs so I need a lot of cushioning (& motion-control).

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous (3/11/2007 3:25 PM)  

  • I'm currently 28 and got AS when I was 18 and wasn't diagnosed til I was 24.

    Before I was diagnosed got I could barely walk, slept in a chair, and was often short of breath. When I first got on enbrel I noticed results right away and within months was so much better, it was amazing.

    I too am 6'3" roughly 200 lbs and have been running lately. I can do pretty good distance, but the problem I have is that I think the AS affected my lung capacity and it feels like I can't take a full breath. This has gotten better over the years, but still not great. Does anyone have advice on how to increase lung capacity? Exercises or medications?

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous (3/30/2007 6:39 PM)  

  • I've had AS since I was 7 years old. Now I am 21 and I am trying to run the marathon. Does anyone have any tips or training advice for this? Thanks

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous (4/21/2007 3:37 PM)  

  • I am now 35, and my disease started at 19. For lung capacity, I do nordic skiing (skating technique) in the winter, and do lots of deep breathing exercises that were shown to me by the physio. Methotrexate is a no-no if you plan on doing any sort of endurance exercise - it can increase your risk of pulmonary fibrosis by a hundredfold if you do any sort of exercise requiring high lung capacity according to my rheumy, and it it virtually ineffective for spinal symptoms, so if I were you I would ask to be put on a biologic - Enbrel, Remicade, or Humira. After starting methotrexate, I had shortness of breath upon moderate exertion, so the drug was promptly stopped. Sulfasalazine is quite benign though in this respect.

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous (6/20/2007 2:27 AM)  

  • Been active all my life. Ran marathon '06. Training in Jan., virus hit and now I'm 40 diag with AS?! Terrible IT and sacroil pain. Very new to this, looking for adv. Begin p/t soon and sulfazine seems "ok" only. Play indoor soccer and now tennis but wld love to run marathon 1more time. Need to hear from seasoned AS sufferers..

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous (8/14/2007 11:54 PM)  

  • I'm a 40 year old with AS since I was 25. It put immediate stop to running for 15 years until last January. Started on Enbrel two months previously. Miraculous drug! Got my body back almost immediately. Compeleted my first triathlon last Saturday. No pain all thru training until a month or so ago when a niggle appeared is my pelvis after my first 50mins run in almost 20yrs. After the Triathlon on Sat, familiar single sided chronic pelvic pain returned. Any other runners out there sufferred similar relapses? If so, what did you do about it? Cheers, Andrew.

    Posted by Blogger Andrew (7/16/2008 11:00 AM)  

  • I was diagnosed with AS when 32 (brother and father, aunt, all have it. I have always been very active, but gave up running around the time of the diagnosis 20 years ago. Too much SI pain. I continued with strength training, hiking, biking, x-country-skiing, snowshoeing etc. I have recently decided that I want to run again and have started out gradually with 3.5 km doing a walk 1 min/run 1 min pattern. I am having difficulty with ankle pain, which I am told is enthesitis in the tendons just above the ankle bone encircling the ankle. It makes running very painful. I got new shoes and I try to run on snow (softer surface). I have been using a wobble board for a year to improve balance and ankle strength, and I do yoga regularly to maintain flexibility. Is there anything else I can try? Has anyone else had this problem?

    Posted by Blogger Sally (2/26/2009 4:19 PM)  

  • I'm 38 and was diagnosed 5 years ago. I had/have serious pain but am on only sulfasalazine since the bone scans show little deterioration (thank goodness). But I have a lot of inflamation (flares) and in even the rarer joints (finger, jaw, toes, sternum) as well as in the major joints (spine and hips). Well, the rheumy told me my running days were over when I was diagnosed. However, with the encouragement of a friend, I started running again last October. I can't run as far as I used to and I do get hip pain on occasion. BUT when I started running, the pain in my back/spine was gone for the first time since I had been diagnosed! Somehow the running totally eliminates the back pain (even if it makes the hip pain worse at times). Go figure? Returning to running is the best decision I ever made as it also helps with the fatigue that is so problematic with our disease. And also, I've made a lot of diet changes which seem to help with the fatigue. Glad to hear there are othe runners with AS out there!

    Posted by Anonymous Arian (6/05/2009 2:48 PM)  

  • Guys,

    I just ran my first ever 10K yesterday, at 22 years old. I was diagnosed when I was 19 years old. I have maintained a fairly active lifestyle and my back has felt great during training, but after distances over 4 or 5 miles I have sever ankle pain. I am uncertain if this is a complication of the AS or just swelling of my feet that results in pain. My knees have never given me any complications and the ankle pain just started about a month into training for my 10K.

    Good Luck guys.

    Posted by Blogger travis (11/16/2009 11:25 AM)  

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